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Shock DQ: USA Women's Team disqualified from Spirit International
Team USA suffered a blow but promise to battle to the finish (Spirit video screenshot)
Team USA suffered a blow but promise to battle to the finish (Spirit video screenshot)

Team USA is out of the running for the 2019 Spirit International Amateur overall title after the Women's Team was disqualified after round one.

After the first round at Whispering Pines Golf Club, the USA Women’s Team signed for an incorrect scorecard and was disqualified from the competition per Rule 23.2b of the Rules of Golf.

Here's what happened: on the par-3 third hole, the women’s team recorded a 2 for Emilia Migliaccio; however, Kaitlyn Papp was the player who made the 2 on that hole. No other team score was recorded for the women’s team on the third hole. According to Rule 23.2b, which applies to Four-Ball Stroke Play, the score for the hole must be identified to the correct partner.

The error was self-reported by Team USA.

Although the USA Women’s Team was disqualified, the USA Men’s Team will continue to compete in the championship in both the Men’s Team Championship and Men’s Individual Championship.

Team USA is no longer eligible to compete for the Combined International Championship.

“Playing within the Rules is at the core of The Spirit and its competitors,” Team USA Captain Stacy Lewis said. “While Team USA is certainly disappointed, they understand the implications. The fact that Emilia and Kaitlyn want to continue to play without being in contention for the championship shows their true spirit, integrity and love of this great game.”

In the Men's Team Championship, the USA Men's Team (Cole Hammer, Andy Ogletree) shot a 6-under 66 in the best-ball format and is tied for fifth, three shots behind France (Julien Sale, Adrien Pendaries).

“We were bogey-free, and I think we’re off to a pretty good start,” said Hammer, the University of Texas sophomore from Houston who played on the victorious U.S. Walker Cup team this summer with his Spirit International teammate Ogletree. “It was an awesome experience today. Any time you get to wear the red, white and blue it’s really special. I got that experience a few months ago at the Walker Cup and being able to do it again so soon with another Walker Cupper being on my team, it’s fun for us.”

France leads overall competition

French Captain Patricia Meunier LeBouc perfectly captured her team’s performance after their Men’s and Women’s teams combined to shoot 16-under-par 128 in the opening round of the 2019 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club. France takes a two-shot lead over New Zealand and the Republic of Korea headed into Friday’s second round.

“They caught the Spirit,” LeBouc said with a smile. “They were brilliant. The girls didn’t start the way they wanted; they were only 1-under on the front nine. But they kept their spirits up and stayed patient. I think that’s the key in this format.”


France’s Pauline Roussin Bouchard and Candice Mahe caught fire on their back nine and shot 6-under. They finished the day at 7-under 65, good for a share of second place in the Women’s Championship competition.

The French men combined to shoot 9-under 63 paced by Pendaries’s seven birdies. France leads the Men’s Team Championship, and Pendaries trails only New Zealand’s Jack Trent on the Men’s Individual leaderboard.

“Seeing the guys do so well on their front nine inspired our girls,” LeBouc said. “By the end of our ninth hole, Pauline asked me how the boys did. I told her they were 6-under, and she said, ‘OK, we have to beat them on the back.’ She likes the game within the game.”

ABOUT THE The Spirit International Amateur

The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship is world class golf event played every other year. It features the world’s best amateur men and amateur women golfers as they represent their respective country in team and individual competitions. The 96 participants enjoy an Olympic-like experience from the Opening/Closing Ceremonies, international village and competing for gold medals.

The World Health & Golf Association and Texas Golf Association invite 24 countries from six continents to participate. Established in 2001, The Spirit is a biennial event that alternates tournament years with the World Amateur Team Championships.

Part of the uniqueness of the Spirit International are the five simultaneous competitions: Combined International Championship, Men’s Team Championship, Women’s Team Championship, Men’s Individual and Women’s Individual.

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